Centennial College receives $2M in NSERC funding for local businesses
by CM Staff
Centennial is establishing the Centre for Explainable Data Analytics (CEDA) to develop intelligent systems for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Greater Toronto Area.
TORONTO — Centennial College is receiving long-term funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to enhance its applied research capabilities in response to the needs of the community and local companies. Centennial is establishing the Centre for Explainable Data Analytics (CEDA) to develop intelligent systems for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Greater Toronto Area.
CEDA represents a new applied research focus at the college, one that will contribute to the recovery and growth of Ontario’s retail sector. Centennial will receive $2,000,000 in funding from NSERC’s College and Community Innovation Program and the Build Innovation Enhancement Grant over the next five years. CEDA will support approximately 150 retail-sector SMEs, provide 140 students with paid applied research opportunities, and engage 500 students through capstone projects at Centennial’s School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science.
“The Centre for Explainable Data Analytics was created to support retail-sector companies that are struggling as a result of the ongoing pandemic,” says Dr. Purnima Tyagi, Director of CEDA. “Local businesses are experiencing challenges with technology and how to make sense of the data they are already collecting. CEDA will be helping these companies to interpret the data in a way that can support business recovery and growth. The Centre will empower retail companies to make better informed business decisions.”
“Strong business benefits the entire community,” says Andrea Hazell, president of the Scarborough Business Association, a partner of the college. “Centennial’s Centre for Explainable Data Analytics will provide services to vibrant and diverse local businesses that could benefit greatly from a digital transformation, which is much needed in the wake of COVID-related business closures. Activity at CEDA will add to Scarborough’s innovation ecosystem and be transformative to many local businesses and our economy.”
CEDA hopes to build on the ongoing research activity and partnerships across sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, energy and sustainable development, while expanding applied research capacity to align with the needs of industry and community partners.